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The Business Matrix: Tuesday 25 June 2013

Boris rings the bell for Lloyd’s

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, yesterday celebrated the contribution that the Lloyd’s of London insurance market makes to the British economy as he addressed its Underwriting Room. The market, the biggest in Europe, employs 50,000 of the 320,000 people in the UK insurance sector and has revenues of £26bn a year.

New Dreamliner hitch for Boeing

Boeing’s Dreamliner woes continued yesterday when, less than a week after a 787 was forced to land due to an engine problem, a second jet had to be diverted because of a mechanical glitch. The Dreamliner returned to the skies only last month after the entire fleet was grounded for four months over battery problems and safety fears.

Hopes for end of euro recession

Expectations that the eurozone may pull out of its lingering recession were boosted yesterday when German business morale rose for the second month in a row. The IFO business-climate index, which surveys 7,000 companies in Europe’s largest economy, rose from 105.7 to 105.9, suggesting stronger growth in the second half.

Henderson links with US giant

Henderson has struck a deal to create a £13bn property fund after joining forces with a larger transatlantic rival. The fund manager is spinning off £11bn of European and Asian property from its Global Real Estate division into a new joint venture with TIAA-CREF, a Fortune 100 company whose roots go back to 1918.

Citigroup to open first office in Iraq

The US bank Citigroup is to open an office in Baghdad. The British bank Standard Chartered is also making a push in Iraq with plans to open branches in three cities. Iraq has struggled to attract interest from Western companies outside of the oil sector in the 10 years since Saddam Hussein was toppled. ap

Stanlow boosts Essar’s results

Improved margins at Stanlow, Britain’s second-biggest oil refinery, helped Essar Energy to beat City expectations with underlying earnings of $1.3bn for the year. The London-listed power arm of Indian conglomerate Essar Group said its improved performance was down to higher margins at the refinery.

Funding costs will drop, says BofE

Britain’s banks and building societies expect funding costs to fall further over the coming three months, a Bank of England survey showed. It also found lenders expected to raise capital levels in that time, though their demand for them was weakening due to a better economic outlook.

Cost-cutting helps Cohort

Technology firm Cohort, which supplies the defence and security markets and employs 500 staff at sites including in Berkshire and Bristol, has posted a 6 per cent drop in full-year revenues to £70.9m but achieved a record trading profit of £7.3m due to improved efficiency.

Balfour secures Hong Kong deal

The infrastructure group Balfour Beatty said that Gammon Construction, a Hong Kong company in which it has a 50 per cent stake, won a £720m contract to design and build a major strategic road – the business’s largest solo civil-engineering contract.

Segro in talks over EU logistics move

The warehouse and industrial-property owner Segro is in advanced discussions with a Canadian pension fund over a deal that will contribute the bulk of its continental European logistics portfolio to a joint venture. It would retain a 50 per cent stake.

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